Bag o’ tricks

January 21, 2004

When I was in junior high school, I hated carrying a purse. On more than one occasion, I remember Ricky asking whether I had a Kleenex or a pen or a piece of gum. Anything, really.

My response was always “No,” and his reply to that was usually something like, “You’re a girl. You should have these kinds of things with you.”

I can only guess that my then-teenage brother took his cues about ladies from my mother and her mother, both of whom carried their whole lives in a handbag. They were always prepared for anything.

Sniffly? Here’s a tissue. Hungry? Here’s a candy bar. Don’t like candy bars? Have some crackers, instead.

Years later, I realize I have become a full-fledged bag lady. If I don’t have my wallet, keys, cellphone, journal, make-up bag, pencil bag and camera with me at all times, I feel naked. Sometimes, I try to lighten my load by leaving the camera or journal at home, but those are the days that I happen to see something amazing or beautiful and I kick myself for not being able to document it properly.

If I could stuff the whole world inside a handbag, I would.


  1. keri says:

    It’s beautiful! You have a lucky stone too. I think I’ve seen that change purse before, have you photographed it in the past?

    I know what you mean about carrying around lots of technology, it can get really heavy. I am an avid walker so weight is an issue. But sometimes it’s worth it. I have to curb myself when collecting stones for this reason.

  2. Lalaine says:

    hello christine..
    for as long as i can remember i have been visiting this site..i heard about it from word of mouth-and i find myself here a lot. i just wanted to tell you that i can never get over the cleverness of this site and the things that you say are so genuine and real; i can relate to them. thank you…things that you have said in the past have made me feel like i am not the only alien on the planet that feels certain ways.

  3. the stinkowitz says:

    that drawing makes me wish that i had a handbag with contents to draw.

    the closest thing i own is my lunchbox and the only things inside of it are drawing supplies, a few buttons, and a yoda action figure.

    actually… those would be fun to draw. a little yoda doing ballet in a forest made of crayons.

  4. mabelle says:

    What a great way to start my day! I love so much your illustration! I’m totally infused with inspiration!

  5. Lori says:

    Say, what flavor of Extra is that? I always have a big pack of Extra with me too.

    When I was a kid, I always loved that I could ask my mom for anything when we were out and about and she’d usually have it. It was very comforting. I haven’t quite stepped up to the plate myself. My purse is fairly scaled down, but there’s always gum, tissues, lip balm, my G2, and a bottle of Excedrin. So I guess I’m semi-prepared.

    Lovely illustration!

  6. Janet says:

    Lovely post and I’m now linking to you!

  7. christine says:

    Thanks, everyone!

    Lalaine: It’s true, there are other aliens out there, including me.

    Lori: It’s cinnamon flavored Extra. What’s a G2, anyway?

  8. penelope says:

    I LOVE that coin purse.

    I think I have one shoulder that sits lower than the other because I carry so much with me all the time. I tried to only carry a wallet and I always kicked myself for not having this…or not having that. It was a pain. Now it’s just physical pain, which I can handle. Hee hee.

  9. ros says:

    it’s a girl thing, isn’t it? : )

  10. Lori says:

    Oh, the G2 is my Canon G2 digital. I like to carry it with me wherever I go.

  11. kitkat says:

    ur work is starkingly poetic…i also have this thing with my bag…=)

  12. Gina says:

    Christine! I really, really love your drawrings :) You are so incredibly talented. Everytime I visit your site I am inspired by something. What is this new business of yours? I miss you! (maybe I should have just emailed!) hehee

  13. lucia says:

    hello fellow bag lady! i used to be just like when i was growing up. i never understood the wonderful world of handbags until college. can you believe it?! well believe it girlfriend. once i started i was in awe with how much i can carry. i think this is what makes us ladies have so much power! we are prepared for anything! woohooo! there are times when i don’t want to carry anything too, but than i’d feel very naked and i would keep having feelings as if i have forgotten something. you know…i hate having that feeling.

    ps. wonderful illustrations!

  14. ginger says:

    I love the illustration! I have a micron pen, too!! I love it!! Hooray for micron pens!!! (:

    ps – I love your site!!

  15. Brandi says:

    I hated carrying around purses too, but now since I’ve grown and want to be more girlish, I looooove bags. Especially designer ones. Or handmade.

  16. leon says:

    are men allowed to carry handbags? i would if i could. i don’t like carrying belongings in my pockets. it feels akward at times.

  17. Emily says:

    well, i still hate to carry a hand bag around,, which explains why i lost my wallet!

  18. Miss E says:

    I find it’s hard to NOT go to bag lady status when you’re carrying a bag. I purposely carry the smallest purses I can find so that I CAN’T put a ton of stuff in there – but then I want a book and my stationery etc etc and then I’m carrying a bag AND a small purse. It’s just inescapable.

  19. j says:

    that’s incredibly pretty…

    myself, i carry the world around with me. i feel weird if i’m not armed & ready for disaster (or adventure).

  20. Gracey says:

    I’m a girl scout but I don’t have as much stuff as your mother and grandma have in their bags. I only have kleenex, mint and some chocolate candies for when hungry.

    I have a phone with a cam so I guess that’s a good thing. I don’t have much space for a camera in my bag.

    Your entries always interest me. You are an inspiration Christine. Keep on inspiring others. ^_^

  21. Zan says:

    Curious to know what it says on your business cards… What box have you stepped in to?

  22. Rowena says:

    Great site. I am always looking for inspiration. Lovely to find it.

  23. christine says:

    Thanks again, everyone, for the overwhelmingly kind and lovely response! xo.

  24. mel says:

    currently, my bag is this big canvass tote with a cat illustration


    my sketchpad
    hardbound journal
    black billfold where I keep important cards
    coin purse
    pop9 camera
    2 pens (green and blue)
    a filipino magazine
    lip balm
    food (empanada)
    hand sanitizer
    American Psycho VCD
    Shrek VCD

    whew! and I carry all of these to work.

    more power to you christine. love your site

  • I'm Christine, and this is a slice of my life—a sweet, rich, wildly indulgent slice that would taste really good with a scoop of Breyers vanilla bean ice cream. Read more >>

  • I run a darling, friendly, little graphic design studio.
    I look on the bright side.
    I take photos. Lots of photos.
    I wish on stars and on websites.

  • I built my first web site 7 years ago and got 15 seconds of fame. (It changed my life.)
    I launched, then relaunched, an online magazine.
    I admitted to several embarrassing crushes.
    I consumed more bacon than any human should and lived to tell the tales.

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